Why support Brian Schweitzer now?
The first (why Schweitzer?) has already been addressed in various posts here. We'll have another somewhere down the line but don't believe enough time has lapsed since the last post on said subject.
The second (why now?) deserves a response.
Our sense is that at this point, any Democratic outsider needs as much media attention and speculation as can be generated. That is why we are doing our part NOW for Brian Schweitzer.
When Hillary Clinton sneezes, media coverage abounds. John Kerry still receives 'carryover' attention. John Edwards is getting C-SPAN spots during his various jaunts around this country. Wes Clark has joined FOX NEWS as an expert commentator. Joe Biden can appear on any Sunday morning political news show he desires. Even Evan Bayh and Bill Richardson are recognizable names and hitting the talk show circuit.
Save for Richardson (although he has logged time in D.C.), all the others are Beltway insiders and easily available. On a whim, they can call a press conference that 'requires' print and possibly television coverage, thereby 'forcing' the media to both cover and feature the powers-that-be, the so-called frontrunners, the 'qualified' candidates-- generally the known, the accessible, the ones previously featured.
This becomes a self-perpetuating, symbiotic relationship between the major players and the major press. Each feeds off the other.
The D.C. Democratic insiders, the politicians, the elite and the old guard, want it that way. No need to rock the boat for them--it's working well. Win or lose elections, the bigshots will be fine, financially and otherwise. There are consultant fees to be collected and corporate boards to grace.
But what about the ordinary rank-and-file Democrats throughout the country? The ones who get called upon to do their 'duty' once every four years, are expected to be ever so grateful for that opportunity, and then are supposed to shut up and be quiet until called upon again. The working women and men hurt by the feasance of the Democratic insiders to corporate and other special interests.
Brian Schweitzer is the reform candidate, the antithesis to the Beltway pols, a representative of the average Joe and Jill, one who can lead the 'makeover' so desperately needed by the Democratic Party.
The major media players have already missed the most important Democratic story of 2004--that being the rise of Democrats in the Mountain West. So don't count on any better coverage in 2006 or 2008.
In Brian Schweitzer's case, what self-respecting Washington/New York media person wants to trudge out to Montana to sniff around and see if there might be a 'story' brewing'? This would probably involve two or three different flights (the horror, the horror) and certainly questionable cuisine in the Big Sky Country. And what about the possibility of stepping in manure.
This is where we come in. If you can't bring the media to the story, bring the story to the media.
We repeat, that is why we are doing our part NOW for Brian Schweitzer. And that is why we thank those of you who have already signed the petition.